Oddsmakers look to be laying the bait heading into the Auburn at South Carolina betting matchup. The #14 Tigers (2-1), whose only loss was to #3 Georgia, are just a -3 point favorite on the road in Columbia. The 1-2 Gamecocks are coming off their first win of the season last week though.
Somewhat surprisingly, only about 57% of the betting public likes Auburn on the road on Saturday (12:00 PM ET, ESPN). The Tigers barely squeaked by Arkansas last week 30-28 as -13.5 home favorites. South Carolina’s 41-7 win came over 0-3 Vanderbilt as -14.5 road favorites though.
Auburn Needs to Find Continuity on Offense
The Tigers are going to want to run the ball on Saturday, fueled by RB Tank Bigsby. The freshman sensation became the lead back last game, scampering for 146 yards on 20 carries against Arkansas. The only problem with that game plan from Gus Malzahn is that South Carolina ranks 13th in the nation in rush yards allowed/game.
The Gamecocks held Vanderbilt to 76 yards on 33 rush attempts last week, which was expected. SC also put up a strong showing in run defense against Florida (24 carries-80 yards), but allowed Tennessee to gain 133 yards on the ground in their opener. Auburn needs a strong rushing game on Saturday, because Bo Nix has been inconsistent at QB. Nix has less than 190 passing yards in each of the last two, and almost blew the game against Arkansas last week with a botched spike.
Both Auburn and South Carolina will look to run the ball in Saturday’s meeting, meaning a low scoring game could be in the cards despite the 53.5 total that has climbed from a 49 open. Is the Auburn defense strangely a liability for ‘under’ bettors though? The Tigers allowed 145 yards rushing to Kentucky in the opener, were torched for 202 on the ground vs. Georgia, and allowed a 22/30, 318 yards, 4 TD / 0 INT day by Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks last week.
SC Primed for the Upset Win?
Auburn rushed for 259 yards against the Razorbacks last week, but they’re not the only team in Saturday’s matchup that can run the ball. Sophomore Kevin Harris has rushed for 271 yards and 3 TD over the last two weeks for SC, and Auburn has had their troubles stopping opposing running backs.
If the Tigers stack the box to stop Harris in Auburn at South Carolina betting, what can we expect from QB Collin Hill? The Colorado State transfer has a grasp on this offense, as coordinator Mike Bobo was his coach last season in Fort Collins. If Hill can have a game like Franks did last week against the Tigers, South Carolina definitely looks like a solid play.
One thing to note for Saturday’s meeting is that South Carolina will have a home field advantage with about 20,000 fans allowed in attendance. That should give the Gamecocks an edge against Nix, especially if SC’s #13 ranked rush defense forces Auburn to have to throw more.
Auburn at South Carolina Betting Free Pick
With a sound running game and a strong rush defense, South Carolina +3 looks like a solid play on Saturday – especially with fans allowed in attendance. The only thing that isn’t ideal for Gamecocks backers is the fact that head coach Will Muschamp is 2-13 against ranked opponents during his tenure in Columbia. That being said, this isn’t the typical Auburn defense and SC can pound the rock.
South Carolina 27 – Auburn 23
Free Pick: South Carolina +3